Some people try to pass off spaghetti squash as the slick noodles made of durum wheat. I am not one of these people.
My taste buds know what you’re up to. Don’t get me wrong, I like spaghetti squash slathered with tomato sauce too, but in thinking about a way to gussy it up for Thanksgiving, a gratin made sense. Harvest vegetables for the fall make warm bedfellows with an oven cranked up on high. Roasting vegetables deepens the flavors and makes for easy cooking, freeing up time to spend in other ways.
As a weeknight replacement or for serving at your Thanksgiving table, swap in this squash dish for a traditional side of potatoes. Can I entreat you to splurge on the heavy cream? I cut back on how much you would need to use by substituting in some milk and Greek yogurt but really it lends a silkiness and heft that is important. I’ve added a panko crust for a bit of textural crunch, but if you are gluten intolerant- Olga- I’m looking at you, feel free to swap in crushed gluten free rice cereal or just omit the breaded topping altogether.
If you’re a fan of sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, here’s a recipe for simple “candied” sweet potatoes.
Spaghetti Squash Gratin
TIME: 1 hour 35 minutes cooking time + 5 minutes prep time
SERVES: 6 hearty portions or 9 smaller ones
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T thyme
- ½ cup milk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 T plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup manchego, shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan, shredded
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- ½ tsp. salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 T butter
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Brush inside and outside of spaghetti squash with the olive oil. Place hollowed side of squash down on roasting pan. Bake for an hour or until tender. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.
- Turn oven down to 350.
- Scrape the strands of spaghetti squash into a large bowl and discard hollowed out squash skins. Add the milk, cheeses, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix the spaghetti squash strands and all of the ingredients together.
- Grease the sides of a casserole dish with olive oil. Pour spaghetti squash mixture into the casserole dish.
- In a small sauté pan, place remaining olive oil, butter and panko bread crumbs until coated. Then pour bread crumb mixture, evenly distributing it over the gratin.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until panko bread crumbs have browned.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.